Recommendation 1719

To adopt legislative measures requiring the Attorney General to investigate claims of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and to use independent forensic experts. Such procedures should guarantee the safety of those raising such claims. Furthermore, the legislation should provide for remedies for any person claiming retribution for having raised a claim of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Status

There have been no independent forensic examinations for recent deaths, and in at least one recent case, a lawyer's request for an independent forensic examination was explicitly denied, and the lawyer was also not allowed to examine the body. Furthermore, in a recent case of alleged torture, the victim's lawyer reported that a request for an independent forensic examination was not considered.

While the government claims to have approved legislative amendments regarding torture cases on 8 January 2012, there do not appear to be any such amendments published in the Official Gazette after that date. Based on the government's description, the legislative amendments give the Attorney General exclusive jurisdiction, but it is unclear whether he is required to investigate torture claims.

There are serious questions about the impartiality of the Public Prosecution (headed by the Attorney General). In a recent case on 23 March, the Public Prosecution produced an investigation accusing an alleged victim of government abuse of faking his wounds. See recommendation 1716 for more details on this, and other cases.

Government Claim

(source: www.govactions.bh on 3/3/2012)

In response to the recommendation of the National Commission on 14 December 2011, on 8 January 2012, the Cabinet approved legislative amendments (1) that give the Attorney General the exclusive jurisdiction to investigate claims of torture and other forms of inhuman treatment; and (2) protecting persons from any retribution for raising a claim of torture or other forms of cruel or inhuman treatment.

In the meantime, as announced on 8 December 2011, all cases of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment have been transferred from the Ministry of Interior to the Attorney-General's office.

Technical assistance regarding this recommendation will be provided by

  • the UNODC (see recommendation 1717).
  • International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (see recommendation 1722(a)); and
  • American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI).
Recommendation 1719
Require Attorney General to investigate torture and guarantee safety of those raising torture claims, and to use independent forensic experts
Status: Violated
Government claim: Implemented

Summary:

  • Violation Forensic examinations are still not independent, and at least one recent request for an independent forensic examination was denied
  • Inaction Legislative amendments approved on 8 January 2012 have not yet been published in the Official Gazette
  • No Details Alleged legislative amendments give the Attorney-General exclusive jurisdiction, but unclear whether he is required to investigate torture claims